A "TIME" Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2012
A "New Yorker" Best Book of the Year
"Los Angeles Magazine"'s #1 Music Book of the Year
This revelatory book of music history examines what is perhaps the best known and most-popular symphony ever written--and its famous four-note opening. Reaching back before Beethoven's time, Matthew Guerrieri uncovers premonitions of the opening notes in the rhythms of ancient Greek poetry and the music of the French Revolution. He discusses the Fifth's impact when it premiered, tracing the artistic, philosophical, and political reverberations across Europe to China, Russia, and the United States, from Romanticism to ring tones, from propaganda to pop. This fascinating piece of musical detective work is a treat for music lovers of every stripe.
The First Four Notes
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination